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Controlling Mindstorms EV3 with a Raspberry Pi

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Original Article: The MagPi, The Official Raspberry Pi Magazine

LEGO Mindstorms is a great tool to gain experience in understanding robotics, but what if you wanted to make your own input sensor? In this guide, we will show how simple it is to construct a circuit to control a Mindstorms robot through GPIO in Raspberry Pi.

We will show every step from connecting the robot to writing the code. The result will be a program in Ch, a superset interpreter of C/C++, to control the direction of the robot with a push-button.

Timelapse Photography with Raspberry Pi Zero

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This tutorial will guide you through taking photos using a Pi Zero and camera, to make a simple timelapse-capturing device. Use it to make a timelapse of a plant growing with the delay set to a day, or the progress on your building work with hourly photos, or a soldering project with a photo every 5 seconds.

Enable the camera

This tutorial assumes you have already set up your OctoCam as per the instructions. If you’re using a camera and a Pi, make sure the camera is connected.

In the Terminal, type sudo raspi-config and press Enter. This will bring up a menu on the screen. You’ll need to press 5, then choose option 1 to enable the camera, and then choose yes. Once you finish with the menu you should get prompted to reboot. This needs doing!

How to build an AirPlay receiver with Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero
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The number of things you can do with a Raspberry Pi is astounding. For a little over $35, you can create a networked media server for streaming all your digital movies to your TV or give your existing printer wireless capabilities. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’ve yet to decide on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi, this project shows you how to turn it into a Chromecast Audio-like music streamer. This means you could set up several Raspberry Pis this way, connect each one to a speaker, place them around your house and stream music to each those speakers remotely in a highly configurable way. You can control the music from your phone, tablet or computer.

Temperature Sensing With Raspberry Pi

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The Raspberry Pi lacks analogue input, and while it’s possible to use an Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC), the DS18B20 is a fantastic, easy to use digital sensor that uses the Dallas 1 wire communication interface. Fortunately for us, the Raspberry Pi comes with built in software handling for 1 wire sensors which makes using sensors such as the DS18B20 pretty straightforward.

What is 1-Wire Communication

The Dallas 1-Wire protocol is a method of serial communication designed for simple communication between 1 Master and multiple Slave devices. Serial communication means that data is sent bit-by-bit along a single data line.

1 wire communication is most commonly used for temperature sensors, EEPROM chips, and other simple devices. Unlike other serial communication protocols such as I2C, which allows for device IDs/addresses to be assigned and handled by the master device, 1 wire devices have an unchangeable, factory set device ID. By differentiating between unique device IDs, you can chain multiple slave devices on a single data bus.

Setup Raspberry Pi Zero with Headless WiFi

Raspberry Pi Zero
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The following instructions will work anytime, you don’t necessarily have to follow them for the first boot – this is just a very convenient way to get your Raspberry Pi onto a network without using any plug-in peripherals like a keyboard, mouse or monitor.

What is “headless,” anyway?

A computer setup without a monitor is said to be running headless. You might want to do this if you’re installing your Pi into some project, or want to keep power-usage and cost minimal. This kind of setup is what the Pi Zero W was built for. The idea is that you can still access your Pi’s terminal interface over your network using a protocol called SSH.

All we need to do is get our Pi set up with the right WiFi credentials and we’ll be able to remotely access it through a terminal program, as if we were using the terminal Pi’s own desktop. What’s more, we’ll get our Pi connected to WiFi without ever having to plug in a monitor, keyboard or mouse to configure it.

FLL Animal Allies: Climbing the Bio-mimicry Wall with Robot

Animal Allies Logo
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After setting my new 2017 group of FIRST LEGO Leage (FLL) Students the “Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task” from the 2016 Animal Allies Challenge, I thought I should prove that it is possible to achieve. The Bio-mimicry Wall Climbing Task requires having the Robot lift its self up upon a wall with no part of the Robot touching the Challenge Mat. Easier than it sounds…

Preforming the Polygon Shuffle with a EV3 Gyroscope

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A polygon is any 2-dimensional shape formed with straight lines. Triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, and hexagons are all examples of polygons. The name tells you how many sides the shape has. A polygon is any shape made up of straight lines that can be drawn on a flat surface, like a piece of paper. Such shapes include squares, rectangles, triangles and pentagons, but not circles or any other shape that includes a curve.

There are two main types of polygon – regular and irregular. A regular polygon has equal length sides with equal angles between each side. Any other polygon is an irregular polygon, which by definition has unequal length sides and unequal angles between sides.


Using the TCS230/TCS3200 Color Sensor with an Arduino

TCS3200 Color Sensor Module
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In this article I will endeavour to show how to detect colours with an Arduino connected to the TCS230/TCS3200 colour sensor.

The TCS3200 colour sensor can detect a wide variety of colours based on their wavelength. This sensor is specially useful for colour recognition projects such as colour matching, colour sorting, test strip reading and much more.

How to Multi-Boot Your Raspberry Pi with “BerryBoot”

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If you want to spend less time swapping cards and more time playing with your Raspberry Pi, installing the BerryBoot multi-boot manager makes it dead simple to boot multiple operating systems from one SD card. Read on as we walk you through the process.

Why Do I Want to Do This?

BerryBoot is a boot management tool for the Raspberry Pi that adds quite a bit of functionality to the Raspberry Pi experience. The biggest benefit is that it allows you to boot more than one operating system off the SD card. You can store the operating systems either on the card itself or, if you want more room, you can configure BerryBoot to use the SD card only as a launcher and to run the operating systems off an attached hard drive.

Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM

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I trust this article will get you up an running quickly with PixyCAM and the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (NXT). Please make sure you have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT brick with a fresh set of batteries. I will endeavor to be as detailed as possible throughout this guide, but it helps if you are somewhat familiar on how to use your LEGO Mindstorms Robotics System.

Using the ‘Google Cloud Vision API’ with your Raspberry Pi

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What is the ‘Google Cloud Vision API’?

Google Cloud Vision API enables your robot to understand the content of an image by encapsulating powerful machine learning models in an easy to use REST API. It quickly classifies images into thousands of categories such as “robot”, “elephant”, “flower”. It detects individual objects and faces within images. It capable of finding and reading printed words contained within images, and even determines the language it is written in. You can use it to build metadata for your image collection, and can be used to moderate offensive content through image analysis.
The Vision API enables you to detect different types of inappropriate content from adult to violent content. It analyzes images uploaded by the request, or integrate with your image storage on Google Cloud Storage.

Using WS2812B Addressable RGB LED Strips with Arduinos

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This article is about my experiments with the WS2812B LED strip, which is an addressable RGB LED strip. This information should also work with other similar LED strips, such as strips of the WS28XX family, Neopixel strip, among others. The WS2812B addressable LED strip comes in several varieties that differ in size, sealant or LED density. Choose the one that best fits your purpose.

Stability Issues with Building the T-R3X Dinosaur

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I was having stability issues with Daniel Benedettelli’s T-R3X Dinosaur robot as featured in his book: THE LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 LABORATORY. When he walked he was quite unstable, especially during turns, or long straight runs where he suffered from the speed wobbles. I build him to entertain some lower Primary School Students, so I had to get him stable on his pins to avoid thier bad press.

Using a 0.96 inch OLED Display with Arduino Microcontroller

0.96" OLED Display
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In this article I will show how to use the small 0.96 inch OLED display with an Arduino Microcontoller board to build a very basic Weather Station.

Introduction to using the BMP180 barometric sensor with Arduino

bmp180 barometricsensor
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The BMP180 barometric sensor (model GY-68) in the following two images is a very small module with 10mm x 10.1mm (0.039in x 0.043in) footprint. This guide is also applicable for other similar barometric sensors.

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